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How To Find The Best Flight School In Los Angeles

Choosing the Best Flight School in Los Angeles

Are you wondering how to find the best flight school in Los Angeles (or the LA area)? This post will take you through the step by step process of doing so.

To the novice wanting to pilot a plane, flight schools may all seem the same. Across the country, flight schools can slightly differ from one another. This is also true of multiple flight schools within metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles. Let’s take a look at how to choose the best flight school in Los Angeles. 

History of Aviation in Los Angeles

Since the invention of flight Los Angeles has been at the forefront of aviation. After the first airshow in the city in 1910, the aviation industry centered itself in the area. Some of the greats, like Lockheed, Douglas, and Northrop, got their start here in the 1920s. With cheap land and wide-open spaces, it was a perfect choice

LA's top-rated flight school
Image of student at one of LA’s top-rated flight schools

Number of Flight Schools In LA

With Los Angeles’s long history of aviation, it is no wonder there are many flight schools to choose from. Some cities in the U.S. have one or two flight schools. Los Angeles boasts dozens in the area. With so many, how do you know which one is right for you? 

Types of People Who Want To Fly

Not everyone attends flight school for the same reasons. Let’s take a look at the different types of people who want to learn to fly. 

  • Personal accomplishment- Some people have always wanted to learn how to fly. This does not mean they want to make a career out of flying. After certification, their interest is satisfied. Once they have a pilot’s license they may or may not fly again.
  • Hobby and Fun- Others cannot see themselves grounded for the rest of their lives. These types may love their current jobs and do not want to fly professionally. By using flying as a hobby on the weekends, they satisfy their need to be airborne. 
  • Commercial/Owning a Business-Another type of person owns a business and has determined piloting benefits it. These can be owners of tour companies or delivery services. They fly to make money, but not for someone else. 
  • Flying Commercially for Someone Else-This type of person wants to be a pilot for an airline or another commercial business. 
  • Future Instructors- Some people love flying so much that they want to teach others. These people will need to become experts in piloting and instructing others. Several programs are available for future trainers. 

Choosing the Right Flight School For You

Determine the Types of Aircraft Potential Flight Schools Train For

A potential student needs to also recognize what size and type of aircraft they want to fly. Flight schools such as flight school Van Nuys Ascent Aviation Academy may specialize in particular things. Things such as helicopters, small planes, private jets, or larger types of aircraft are common specialties of such schools. When choosing a flight school, ask questions about what the school specializes in. 

Choose a Flight School Based on Your Needs

Now that we understand the different types of interest for flight students, we can match them to flight schools. Depending on which type of pilot you want to be is the first step. If you want to get a PPL Los Angeles that would be a much different course than going for comprehensive pilot training Los Angeles CA.

Although outside of becoming a helicopter pilot, the basics will be the same starting out. Later training will need to specialize in what type of aircraft you want to fly in the end. A student should at least have an idea of what they want to do when looking for the perfect flight school. 

Pick Five Highly Rated Schools to Visit

Visiting flight schools for yourself is the only way to know if they are for you. Picking the top rated five campuses will give you plenty to check out. With so many schools in Los Angeles, how do you know which one to visit? Here are two ways to determine your top five schools to visit.

  • Online student reviews
  • Direct questions to students who have attended

Once online and searching for the best flight schools in Los Angeles, you will see many claiming to be the best. The only true way to determine your best top five choices is to see what other students think. You can read customer reviews on flight school websites as the first step. Even better are online forums and Facebook groups. Easy to find, ask Los Angeles trained pilots in these groups their opinions. 

Here are a few questions to ask other pilots about their flight schools.

1. Ask other students if the school they attended had instructors who liked their jobs. You are going to spend the next few months in aircraft with instructors. You do not want them to complain about their jobs during each flight. Find students who had enthusiastic instructors and gravitate towards those schools that employ them. 

2. Get answers to how their instructors felt about safety and sticking to the rules. Being a long term pilot is as much about being safe as having excellent flying skills. If the instructors are teaching anything less, it’s the wrong school for you.

3. Find out the students experienced instructors who communicated lessons well. Many students cannot learn with a bad teacher. Some instructors will be great pilots and bad teachers. If they do not pass their knowledge onto the student, it is a waste of time.

4. Ask if the students changed different instructors often. Having different instructors for different types of lessons are expected. If future pilots are getting a new instructor each week, it may mean turnover is high among the instructors. This says a lot about flight schools who cannot manage and keep their employees. Look for companies that have low turnover rates for the best teachers. 

5. Were the instructor prepared for each lesson? Once the pilot passes good pilot and teacher status, ask if the instructor was prepared for every lesson. When paying for flight instruction, every minute flying and learning counts. You do not want to pay for extra instructions to pass tests, because the instructor was not prepared. 

6. For students who became employed as pilots, ask if the school assisted in job placement.

Tour Your Top 5 Schools

Now that you have chosen your top five flight instruction schools, give them a visit. If any of the schools will not allow you to visit and talk to employees, scratch them off your list. Flight instruction is an investment you are making with your own money. Schools should be open to all of your questions. 

Once given access during a tour, here are a few things to look and ask for:

  • Does the training aircraft have the best technology? If you later want to have a job flying, or even have your own plane, you will need the proper skills. Make sure the technology you train on will be equal to what you will be asked to fly in the future. 
  • What is the condition of the training aircraft? Again, safety should be the number one requirement for any flying school. If the training aircraft are in poor condition, seek another school. 
  • Ask to see a sample of the school’s curriculum. A proper curriculum in any type of training is a necessity to know you will properly learn all you need to know. All flight schools should be able to provide you with a written curriculum. 
  • Speak to a pilot while you are on your campus visit. If the pilots truly cares about teaching, they will be willing to talk to you about their passion of flying. If the pilot acts as if they are not interested, this may not be the school for you. Also, ask the pilot how long they have worked for the school to help determine turnover rate. 
  • Find out the failure rate for training pilots. An excess of failures may say something about how well the instructors teach. An instructor is paid to pass on knowledge and should find a way to do it even with types of students. 
  • Ask how long the flight school has been in business. A new school does not mean it is not the right one for you. A flight school that has been in business for many years does say that it is doing something right. If a school has turned out thousands of pilots, you know they can do the same for you. 
  • If wanting to be a paid pilot, ask the flight school about their record on job placement. You have already asked this question of former students. Asking the school this question can confirm what the former students told you. Flight schools with a good record of job placement will be glad to share this information with you. 
  • Finally, ask the school about their pricing and how their scheduling works. When all of your other questions have been answered, these two may decide the school that is right for you. 


In conclusion, finding the flight school that meets your needs with the best instruction is important. By offering services such as job placement at a premier flight school such as Ascent Aviation Academy, in Los Angeles, you can be flying on your own soon. You can learn more about the location on this page here. In addition, you can learn more about our services here. Offering safe instruction in a modern aircraft allows your training to be the best in the L.A. area. 

We hope you learned how to choose the best flight school in Los Angeles and wish you all the best!

Ascent Aviation Academy is a top-rated flight school in Van Nuys known for comprehensive training, licensing and discovery flights.  Located conveniently at Van Nuys Airport (VNY) we have world-renowned flight instructors, top of the line aircraft and different options for financing.

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